Friday, August 5, 2011

Solar Water Heater Offer from DR Power

I like DR products, made like tanks and made in the USA.

They are partnering with built by a sister company firm that build solar water heaters, selling a DIY kit that includes solar collector, heat exchanger and a water storage tank that connects to your current hot water heater. Plus the solar collector has a small photovoltaic cell that powers the pump, which A: means you don't need to run any new electric for this system and B: the solar water heater only runs when their is sun enough to power the PV cell. So another one on the plus side is that it looks easy to install in that you don't have to re-plumb your house. 

This is all well and good and I have been considering one, especially with the federal and state tax credits knocking about $4K off the price, plus as a previous DR owner, I get a special $450 coupon.

I initially was confused by Sunward's pricing information, but thanks to their help I have seen that it is pretty straight forward and I hope to be able to place an order in 2010.
Heating water in your home and refrigerating food are about 80% of an average homes energy usage. If I can knock a dent in one of those, that's not a bad thing. Running a fridge on alternate that's for another blog post on anther day.

UPDATE, August 2011: Well, with my change of vocation at the end of 2009 and the ongoing economic troubles making me save every dime I could for a rainy day, I still haven't bought this system.....but I still want to. Anyone out there own one that wants to give a review? DR and Sunward, any chance you'd long term loan me one to try?  ;)


jperrotto said...

First, thanks for your compliment about DR Power Equipment. We're proud of our products, and proud to be a US based manufacturer.

I'm sorry you feel that we've tried to "beat around the bush" about the costs and financial benefits of Solar Hot Water, especially since we actually tried to do the opposite.

Because there are so many variables to consider e.g. your current energy costs, the rate of energy inflation, how much energy you use, etc, we struggled to come up with a payback number that fit's everyone. So on our website we did our best to build in tools and content that can help anyone figure out how the math will work out for them.

If you have not had a chance to visit this part of our site you can find it here: I especially suggest watching the short video (the one with the floating piggy bank!) about how the tax incentives and smart financing can make solar hot water almost a pay as you go proposition.

One thing that's really important to keep in mind is that $500 in savings today is likely to be much more in the future as energy costs rise faster than overall inflation. That's a reality we all have to (unfortunately) contend with.

Thanks for the opportunity to respond. We're really committed to building a solid product and selling it with integrity, so the last thing we'd want to have develop is a perception that we're trying to hide the facts.

I hope you do end up purchasing a Solar Hot Water system, and of course hope you'll consider ours. We promise to stand behind it -- and you -- to ensure it provides you many years of reliable service.

- Joe Perrotto, President
Sunward Solar Hot Water

P.S. Just to clarify, the Sunward system is part of the same family of companies as DR and Neuton, not a partnership. The solar collectors and many of the other components are built in the same Vermont factory as the DR Power tools.

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